Redford Films Exclusive Universal Monsters Legacy Box Set
Just in time for Halloween, classic black and white movie monsters live again...
The Redford Films Exclusive Universal Monsters Legacy Set is currently IN-STOCK priced at $44.99. For a great selection of film and pop culture collectibles, check out RedfordFilms.com.
Any fan of horror or monster movies should be familiar with the old Universal Studios films, really the precursor of the modern genre. Featuring outstanding and innovative makeup effects, great actors, and powerful stories, films like The Mummy, The Wolf Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dracula, Frankenstein, and many more scared and thrilled audiences from 1923 to 1958. These films led directly to these monsters becoming household names and gaining pop culture immortality. After a series of successful Universal Studios products Diamond Select Toys has partnered with Redford Films to release an exclusive set of 7 inch scale classic monsters in their original black and white appearances: the Universal Monsters Legacy Set!
The Universal Studios Monsters Legacy Set comes in a very attractive package that’s suitable for display if you decide not to open it up. A wide window box, the package features a deep purple background with lightning effects on all sides. The front panel is dominated by a central rectangular window through which you can see the trio; above it in the corner is the Diamond Universal Studios Monsters logo while below it is the set’s title in a spooky font. In the bottom-right corner of the window is a Redford Films sticker to let you know where this exclusive set originated.
The box’s side panels have larger versions of the Universal Studios Monsters logo, showing off the cool Frankenstein’s monster bust, and it appears on the back as well. There you’ll also find a brief description of the Universal Monster legacy and larger than life photos of the three monsters “tagged” with their individual film logos. Inside, the three monsters and their bases are securely held in a full-size plastic tray.
The inspiration may have come from decades old films, but these figures are great examples of top-notch craftsmanship. In the 7 inch scale they stand at approximately 7 ½ (Mummy), 8 (Creature), and 6 ¾ inches (Wolf Man). Like the other figures in Diamond’s Universal Monsters lineup, these three feature great sculpts that really bring the classic characters to life once again. And while they may not be super articulated, the monsters are captured in film-accurate poses made even better (and more authentic) by their included diorama display bases. Of course, what really set these figures apart are their awesome black and white cinema-inspired paint jobs!
The oldest movie monster among this trio is the Mummy representing the titular character (also known as Imhotep) played by the great Boris Karloff in 1932. A mummified ancient Egyptian priest, Imhotep is accidentally brought back to life and seeks to resurrect his lover by any means necessary. The Mummy figure captures the monster from the most famous scene in which Karloff appears in full makeup and wrappings, only his head and hands exposed. The figure’s pose is interesting; not quite fully rejuvenated from the grave he lurches forward on uncertain legs, but his upper body is held erect and noble. Naturally, the sculpt is defined by amazingly intricate layers of ragged “cloth” strips with its own unique texture and the tightly wrapped thin limbs and body add to the fright appeal. The Mummy’s hands are desiccated with long, narrow fingers perfect for reaching out toward his intended victims, and on his right hand is sculpted Imhotep’s iconic ring. The head sculpt is a very good likeness of Karloff in the monster makeup.
The Mummy stands on a display base that’s right out of an archaeologist’s dream, a dusty floor littered with broken pottery shards, a box, and the scroll that brought Imhotep back to life. The base plugs into holes on the bottom of the figure’s feet and he’s pretty stable on it. Both the figure and the base share the same coloring, a monochrome palette with a fair degree of yellowing that really looks great and “aged.” The Mummy’s skin is a deathly dark gray, his ring black, and his hair pure white. With articulation only at the neck, ball-jointed shoulders, and wrists he’s not going to be dancing a jig, but the Mummy looks good in a lumbering walk or reaching toward you.
Moving into the 1940s we come to the Wolf Man, starring another movie monster master Lon Chaney, Jr. In this 1941 classic the reluctant Larry Talbot returns to his family’s manor and after a chance encounter with a wolf undergoes a shocking transformation (and one of the most famous sequences in film history) into the Wolf Man! In this figure version the cursed Talbot stalks the woods, a monster in man’s clothing. The Wolf Man stands apart from his fellows in this set in a couple of respects, the first of which being his pose. Unlike the others who are mostly static, Talbot here is full of movement and posed in a crouching gait. The look of the figure is really interesting, with its pedestrian shirt and pants contrasting with the lupine head, hands, and feet. Because he’s still mostly clothed, a lot of the sculpt is devoted to clothing details like creases, seams, pockets, buttons, etc., but the wolf-y parts look great with textured fur and exaggerated features. The “hind legs” are extended with the figure standing on the balls of his feet, and both those and the gnarled fingers are capped with claws. Like on the Mummy figure, the most care and attention was put into the Wolf Man’s head sculpt, this time with its poofy hair, fully furred face, canine nose, and the fanged mouth open in a permanent howl!
The Wolf Man gets a patch of rocky terrain on which to stand that’s complete with a twisted tree stump. Talbot plugs into his stand very securely, which is a good thing considering his widely spaced legs make balance an issue otherwise. While the Mummy has a slight yellow patina, Wolf Man is more standardized black and white (and the same goes for his display base) with notable variations of gray on his clothing and nose. His wild eyes are done very well and their white really pop. Talbot benefits from the best articulation of the bunch; he is poseable at the neck, ball-jointed shoulders, elbows, wrists, and waist. While that might not seem like a tremendous articulation scheme, but paired with his dynamic leg stance I had a lot of fun posing him threatening, howling at the moon, and even running!
Last but not least, we come to the 1950s and the Creature from the Black Lagoon! A newfangled 3D film from 1954, this one told the tale of an Amazonian expedition that discovered a heretofore unknown ichthyic creature that walked like a man. Naturally misunderstood and feared, the so-called “Gill-man” felt emotions and had definite intelligence. This famous creature has had several figure incarnations, but this one stands as an example of sculpting and authenticity. While others have played with the shape and proportions of the Creature, this figure sticks with the original look very closely, to its benefit. A mostly humanoid fish-man, he stands erect on huge flipper-like webbed feet matched by similar hands. The Creature’s body is covered by a pebbly texture and overlapping plates with ridges on his back and the back of his limbs. The Gill-man’s head is bald and mostly fish with huge eyes, a thick-lipped mouth, and substantial ruffled gills.
Emerging from his subterranean home, the Creature stands upon a swampy base complete with leafy vegetation and a loose tree limb. Like the other figures, the base plugs into both of Gill-man’s feet; I had some trouble standing him up without it. The Creature is mostly a dark gray that’s offset by his pale underbelly. His ridges, gills, and mouth trend lighter (nearly tan in the last case) while his huge eyes are stark white. The Amazonian base is the darkest of the bunch with only a little variation in colors. The Creature has limited articulation with joints at the ball-jointed shoulders, elbows, wrists, and ankles. The wrists and ankles were extremely tight on mine and I had to be very careful not to break them; hopefully that’s an isolated issue but something to watch out for nonetheless. Regardless, Gill-man looks great when propped up on his display base and threatening the scientists encroaching on his ancestral land!
With Halloween in just a few days, now is the perfect time to revisit and celebrate these old monster movies, and Redford Films is your connection for these classic black and white figures. At $44.99 this set is a steal for classic monster fans considering most single-packed 7 inch figures these days will run you about $20. These three iconic characters will look great together or mixed in with other monster figures, and they more than make up for their relative lack of articulation with pre-posed sculpts that really spotlight their high quality sculpts. You can get your Universal Monsters Legacy Series Box Set at Redford Films HERE!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Sample Courtesy of Redford Films